If you have a bike and a little time, head up to the Kettle Moraine State Forest north of Kewaskum and take the Lake to Lake bike trail. The 6.5-mile trail connects Mauthe Lake and Long Lake with the little village of Dundee in between. You’ll know Dundee as home of biker-favorite Hamburger Haus and a 2006 Extreme Home Makeover project, as well as the ancient kame called, appropriately, Dundee Mountain.
I like the sound of my bike tires crunching over the limestone-surfaced trail. The ride through hardwood forests, prairies, conifer plantations and lowland swamps is broken by a field of pink flowers as I round a corner, with friendly Dundee Mountain a dot in the distance.
The Driftless Area or Uplands of Southeast Wisconsin were untouched by the most recent continental glacier that shaved and shaped the gentle kames and eskers of our Kettle Moraine. The Driftless Area has steep rugged hills, cold running rivers full of trout, deep narrow valleys, caves and sinkholes, and diverse soils, plants and animals. It doesn’t have the rocks, gravel, boulders and residue the retreating glaciers left in other parts of Wisconsin. More than that, it just feels different, the vistas high and wide and surprising. So in a geologic sense, it’s OK to be left behind, unscarred and unscraped, the drama of ancient heights and shadowed valleys unchanged. It’s OK to be Driftless.